Change could be coming to that Iowa football offense that some fans claim is stale, worn out and predictable.
None of the coaches will say that publicly, but a glance at the list of recruits expected to sign national letters of intent on Wednesday suggests that some tweaks could be coming.
Four receivers are committed, and there could be more depending on who gets the final three offers of what is expected to be a 20-player recruiting class.
“They’ll definitely take another receiver if there’s one out there,” said Todd Worly, recruiting analyst for 247sports.com. “From there, it’s a little up in the air how they’ll fill out the class. There could be a linebacker or two.”
The only quarterback on the list — Nic Shimonek of Corsicana, Texas — is the one who mentioned a potential change in the Hawkeyes’ offensive thinking.
“In talking to Nic, he has the impression that Iowa is planning on utilizing more receivers,” Worly said. “That doesn’t always mean throwing more. You can have four-receiver sets and run out of them.
“A lot of it will depend on how the quarterbacks are progressing and how the receivers are progressing.”
With three days until National Signing Day, a look at impact players in the Hawkeyes’ recruiting class:
Ferentz doesn’t usually go the junior college route. He once said, “I’m going off my history at this school. Junior college players don’t, as a rule, always transition in as well.”
Receiver Damond Powell, however, might be different. His 30-yard-per-catch average was the best among junior college players last season while playing at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. He’s not coming to Iowa to rot on the bench.
“He’s the type of receiver Iowa needs,” Worly said. “He’s got college experience, having played for one of the top junior colleges in the country. He’s already been challenged.
“He’s got that explosiveness that Iowa desperately needs and hasn’t had. If he can pick up the system, it will be surprising if he’s not in the mix right away.”
Give offensive lineman Sean Welsh a couple years of working closely with strength coach Chris Doyle, and the result could pay off greatly for the Hawkeye-to-be’s future.
“Other than being 6-(foot)3, he’s got everything else you look for in an offensive lineman,” Worly said of the 275-pounder from Springboro, Ohio. “It’s unrealistic to think that he will play right away, but once he gets in the strength program, the sky is the limit.”
He had many offers, including from Louisville, Miami of Florida, West Virginia and Kentucky.
“He’s a guard, but Iowa likes him at all three positions,” Worly said. “He’s versatile enough to at least give them options on where to play him.”
Worly placed 6-2, 280-pound defensive tackle Brant Gressel, of Centerville, Ohio, in this category, too.
“It’s interesting in that Welsh and Gressel are from the same area — they played against each other and they’re friends,” Worly said. “Gressel reminds me of (ex-Hawkeye and Green Bay Packers rookie) Mike Daniels. He’s explosive. He can get after it.”
Iowa benefited from Boston College’s coaching change and freshman Greg Garmon’s departure.
Running back LeShun Daniels was a Boston College commit — until coach Frank Spaziani was fired. He looked around, saw that Garmon announced his transfer, and the rest is history.
“It’s an outstanding get for Iowa,” Worly said of Daniels. “He’s a powerful kid. He has better change-of-direction than most guys his size.”
The 5-11, 220-pound Daniels will have to wait his turn to play in a crowded backfield headlined by Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock.
“He doesn’t have that exceptional top-end speed,” Worly said, “but to me, short bursts of explosiveness are important, too.”
IOWA FOOTBALL COMMITMENTS
Nathan Bazata, DT, 6-2, 275, Howels, Neb. (Neb.) High School
Ike Boettger, TE, 6-5, 220, Cedar FallsHigh School
LeShun Daniels, RB, 5-11, 220, Harding High School, Warren, Ohio
Colin Goebel, OL, 6-4, 275, Naperville, Ill. North High School
Brant Gressel, DT, 6-2, 280, Centerville, Ohio (Ohio) High School
Andre Harris, WR, 5-11, 157, Kirkwood, Mo. (Mo.) High School
John Kenny, LB, 6-2, 210, Carmel, Ind. (Ind.) High School
Desmond King, DB, 5-11, 185, Detroit, Mich. Crockett High School, Detroit, Mich.
Derrick Mitchell, DB, 6-1, 195, Vashon High School, St. Louis, Mo.
Damond Powell, WR, 5-11, 175, Snow College, Ephraim, Utah
Malik Rucker, DB, 6-0, 175, Cooper High School, New Hope, Minn.
Nic Shimonek, QB, 6-4, 205, Mildred High School, Corsicana, Texas
Matthew VandeBerg, WR, 6-1, 170, Brandon Valley, S.D. High School
Solomon Warfield, DB, 6-0, 170, St. Edward High School, Cleveland, Ohio
Sean Welsh, OL, 6-3, 275, Springboro, Ohio (Ohio) High School
Derrick Willies, WR, 6-3, 190, Rock Island, Ill. (Ill.) High School
Jon Wisnieski, TE, 6-5, 215, West Des Moines Dowling Catholic
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football